Why is elite prospect Shaedon Sharpe eligible to apply for 2022 NBA draft?

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Shaedon Sharpe burst onto the scene prior to the 2020-21 high school season as he led the Nike EYBL in scoring. After being unranked a sizable portion of his high school days, Sharpe went from a college hopeful to a consensus five-star prospect.

But now, he can choose to never even play a full NCAA season. On Thursday, ESPN broke the news that Sharpe can apply for the 2022 NBA draft as an early-entry candidate.

Draft rules stipulate that an entrant must turn 19 during the calendar year of the draft and one season must have past since his high school graduation.

Sharpe, who turns 19 on May 30, had enough credits to graduate from Dream City Christian (Glendale, Ariz.) in October before the NBA season started. He enrolled at Kentucky in January and is eligible to play for the Wildcats, though he has yet to play in a game.

Sharpe has yet to announce if he will be part of the 2022 class or wait for 2023. As ESPN’s former No. 1 player in the 2022 class, Sharpe was projected to be among the first players selected in his original 2023 draft-eligible year.

ESPN has him ranked as the No. 6 prospect among 2022 draft-eligible players, so Sharpe is currently in the running to be a lottery selection even if he does go to the NBA a year earlier than anticipated.

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